Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Barry Larkin v. Eddie Taubensee

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

First Round Matchup No. 1 Barry Larkin v. No. 16 Ed Taubensee


The former No. 4-overall pick was a Cincinnati Reds stalwart at shortstop for nearly two decades and an All-Star on the most recent 1990 World Series winning Reds team. A 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove winner and Most Valuable Player, Larkin is the quintessential Red. He played his entire career in Cincinnati, from the 22-year-old rookie until the 40-year-old legend, Larkin set a new standard for Reds’ shortstops.

His career concluded with a .295 AVG, 198 HR, 379 SB and more walks than strikeouts. This included a 20/20 season, a 30/30 season and a 51-SB season in 1995 when he won the MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and made the All-Star team. Larkin, in 17 career postseason games, was a .338/.397/.465 hitter with eight steals and just four strikeouts.

Larkin won the Roberto Clemente Award in 1993 which is awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and contribution to his team,” and was just the second shortstop, along with Cal Ripken Jr., at that time to have won the award, which started in 1971. He followed it up in 1994 by winning the Lou Gehrig Award given to the player who “best exhibits the character and integrity of Lou Gehrig both on and off the field.”

His No. 11 jersey has been retired by the Cincinnati Reds, he has been elected into the Reds Hall of Fame and, in 2012, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with 86.4 percent of the vote on his third ballot.

Larkin is also a Cincinnati native, having attended Cincinnati Moeller High School.

*One knock against Larkin is that he only played 2,180 games in his 19-year career, or an average of less than 115 games per season. 

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The 11-year veteran spent seven years in a Cincinnati Reds uniform playing the majority of his games behind the plate outside of a handful of appearances in the grass and at first base. However he didn’t claim a full-time gig until the 1998 season where he found a home on the lineup card in the cleanup spot. His best season then came in 1999 when he hit .311 with 21 HR and 87 RBIs.

His career AVG is .273, but he hit a respectable .286 during his time with Cincinnati. He hit 77 of his 94 career home runs for the Reds. Former Reds General Manager Jim Bowden once joked that Taubensee’s hot start to the ’98 season was due to a controlled substance, “the opportunity drug,” he joked.

Taubensee continues to his work off the field ministering to professional athletes via Pro Athletes Outreach.

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